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NIMBB student wins top prize in international competition


Liezel U. Tamon

(May 15)—Liezel U. Tamon, a senior Molecular Biology and Biotechnology student, won the prestigious 2015 Sanger Institute Prize Competition.
Instituted in 2004 by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), a world leader in genomic research, the annual competition offers the winner “a 3-month internship with the WTSI to experience the very cutting edge of genomic research.”

The competition is open to undergraduate students from low and middle-income countries and consists of two stages. The first stage requires the contestants to apply online and provide details such as where they are studying, a short expression of interest and a CV. Shortlisted contestants are then qualified for a second stage, where they are asked to write an essay on matters of genomics (study of genetic material of organisms).

Dr. Reynaldo Garcia, Tamon’s thesis adviser said, “her winning essay on personalized medicine and human genetic variation touched on personalizing drug dosage, patient stratification according to genotype and identification of likely responders/non-responders to therapy, as well as the new research areas on non-coding RNA being pursued by their laboratory at NIMBB to further explain inter-individual and inter-ethnic variability in drug responses and predispositions to disease.”

For winning the competition, Tamon, a summa cum laude candidate, will go to the Institute for a three-month internship with a research group headed by Dr. David Adams starting September this year. Adams is known for using DNA sequencing of patients and genetic screens in human cells and mice to identify cancer genes and genetic interactions. Travel, living and research expenses are all covered by the award. — ACG, image courtesy of Liezel Tamon